Editor’s Note: Live-streaming apps have been trending in China recently and growing use by locals coupled with the ability to profit off of broadcasts has made them more and more desirable in the eyes of many foreigners living in China as well. However, new regulations are causing developers to have to disallow foreigners from broadcasting.
Making use of Chinese apps and other online services and platforms hasn’t always been easy for foreigners in China, namely because most of us don’t have Chinese IDs. However, as more and more foreigners have made the decision to live in, visit or do business in China, many of these services have made a move forward and opened their doors to foreigners. However, it seems that live-streaming apps have been forced to take a step backward in terms of wai guo ren accessibility.
New(ish) regulations came into effect on January 1st of this year that have Chinese developers of live-streaming apps rushing to comply with and integrate the new laws into operations.
Under Article 10 of the new decree, it states, “Foreigners or those from special administrative regions Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan making use of online performance channels and offering related products must register with the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China (MCPRC) before doing so. Those without permission will not be allowed to utilize these services as overseas users. Those who wish to apply for permission must do so within 10 days of opening an account.”
The regulations do not fail to state exactly how an “overseas” live-streamer might register with the MCPRC in order to gain permission to engage in live-streaming via local Chinese apps such as Dou Yu, Wai Wai and Hua Jiao. So for now, hindered by red-tape seemingly too thick to be navigated and a lack of pioneers who have jumped this sudden blockade, most of can sit back and wait for someone to figure out the new system, the most courageous among us can attempt to brave the cavernous depths of the everchanging bureaucracy.
Note: It was not entirely clear as to whether the original Chinese regulation referred only to live-streaming or to other video hosting platforms like Youku and Tudou as well. “Live-streaming” was used in the article, because other outlets had used the term as well.
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Keywords: Live-streaming apps Foreigners
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